Vazquez returns with TKO win
Ringside by Francisco Salazar
Photography by “Big” Joe Miranda
A nasty cut over his eye was not about to deter Israel Vazquez from coming out victorious on Saturday night.
Then again, what else is new in a career that has seen him fight wars with cuts above his eyes?
Vazquez fought through rustiness and fatigue to earn a spectacular ninth round stoppage victory over tough Angel Priolo, Saturday night at the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles.
The bout headlined a six-bout “Next Boxing Generation” card, presented by Golden Boy Promotions, in association with Espinoza Boxing and Sycuan Ringside Promotions.
It was the first fight for Vazquez in 17 months, where he fought three action-filled fights with Rafael Marquez. After the last Marquez fight, Vazquez took time off to recover from a detached retina in his right eye.
Vazquez was facing Priolo, a fighter who had lost six in a row before he stepped inside the ring against him. Priolo, who has not been victorious in five and a half years, came into this fight weighing three weight classes above when he was successful earlier in his career.
Priolo came to win and it was evident from the opening bell. Priolo pressed forward, continuously landing right hands to the head of Vazquez.
Priolo was able to score continuously from the opening bell with right hands to the head of Vazquez. Priolo stood in front of Vazquez, who tried to get on the inside and work the body.
In the first couple of rounds, Vazquez was hoping to land counter right hands, finding some success, but missing more often. Vazquez showed strong ring generalship, but it looked as though he was not in good position to throw or he smothered himself on the inside.
Beginning in the fourth round, Vazquez began to find some rhythm. He gave himself more space and was able to counter with right hands. Vazquez also began to land left hooks to the body of Priolo, who would fire back with right hands of his own.
Vazquez’ face began to mark up, especially above his eyes. It was in the seventh round when a cut opened up above his left eye. Seeing it as a target, Priolo began to increase his punch output. He would target the eye, landing more punches to the head of Vazquez.
Priolo started strong in the eighth round, but Vazquez came on strong to finish the round, by being busier and landing more to the body.
In the wild ninth round, Vazquez hurt and dropped Priolo with two hard right hands to the head. Priolo got up on wobbly legs and was met with a bombardment of hard right hands. A right hand followed by a left hook to the head dropped Priolo a second time to the canvas.
Priolo got up again and looked in bad shape. To his credit, he bravely fought back instead of holding on to recuperate. However, Vazquez landed a hard left hook that made Priolo take a knee seconds later. Referee Pat Russell waved the fight over at 2:10, sending the pro-Vazquez crowd of 3,133 in a frenzy.
After the bout, Vazquez stated that despite the cut, he felt fine. He did feel that he was rusty.
“He was a very tough fighter,” said Vazquez, who is managed by Frank Espinoza. “I was a little tired and rusty at the beginning of the fight and it took me a while to get over it. I am a true warrior and I have showed that throughout my career. I was really hungry for the win.”
Asked about his eye and his recovery time, Vazquez said, “The cut above my eye did not affect me. I am a true warrior. I would fight tomorrow if I had to.”
“I came with my best, but he was a true warrior,” was all that Priolo stated after the fight. He did give a good account of himself, despite his recent losses.
Two judges had the bout scored even at 76-76, while the third judge had the bout scored 78-74 for Vazquez entering the ninth round. Fightnews.com had the bout scored 77-75 for Vazquez entering the ninth round.
Vazquez, from Huntington Park, CA by way of Mexico City, DF, Mexico, goes to 44-4, 33 KO’s. Priolo, from Barranquilla, Colombia, drops to 30-8, 20 KO’s.
Rios stops Wampash
Featherweight Ronny Rios was able to get a stoppage victory in the sixth round of a scheduled six round bout over John Wampash.
Wampash, a former Olympian from Ecuador and who has faced top prospects in Gary Russell and Ricky Lopez, was game, but did not have the firepower to keep up with Rios.
Rios pressed forward, landing right hands or combinations to the head behind a strong jab. He was also able to land left hooks to the body of Wampash.
Wampash began to tire in the fourth as was evident with his mouthpiece coming out twice in the round, prompting referee Ray Corona to deduct a point from Wampash.
Rios was dominant in the sixth round as Wampash was in survival mode through most of the round. Wampash’s corner saw enough, sending a commission inspector onto the canvas to tell Corona to stop the bout at 1:53 of the round.
Rios, from Santa Ana, CA, improves to 8-0, 4 KO’s. Wampash, from Miami, FL by way of Quito, Ecuador, drops to 1-3-1, 1 KO.
Grajeda stops Diaz
Junior middleweight Luis Grajeda stopped Juan Carlos Diaz in the second round of a scheduled six-round bout.
Grajeda was able to drop the muscular Diaz with a left hook to the head. Diaz stood up, but seemed to clown around in the ring as Grajeda was all business.
Diaz was knocked down again in the second round, this time with a right uppercut to the head. Diaz stood up only to be knocked down moments later with a straight right hand by Grajeda. Referee Dr. James Jen-Kin did not even bother to count as he stopped the bout at 2:48. A solid win for Grajeda, who was a two-time amateur champion in Mexico.
Grajeda from Chihuahua, Chihuahua, Mexico, improves to 7-0, 6 KO’s. Diaz, from Mexico City, DF, Mexico, drops to 3-1, 2 KO’s.
Santa Cruz stops Macias
In the walkout bout of the evening, former world champion Jose Armando Santa Cruz stopped tough Sergio Macias in the third round of a scheduled six-round bout.
Santa Cruz, who entered this fight as a welterweight, was fighting for the first time in over a year, when he was knocked out by Antonio Pitalua in September.
Fighting two weight classes above the lightweight limit, Santa Cruz looked rusty, but was able to impose his will on Macias. The crafty Macias used lateral movement to avoid being hit and attempted to counter as well. Santa Cruz’ punches were beginning to take their toll on Macias, whose face was beginning to show bruises.
In the third round, Santa Cruz had Macias pinned against the ropes and was throwing numerous punches. Macias continued using lateral movement, but was being hit more often. Finally, referee Ray Corona saw enough and waved the fight over, despite Macias’ claims that he was able to continue.
Santa Cruz, from Lincoln Heights, CA by way of Michoacán, Mexico, improves to 27-4, 16 KOs. Macias, from San Fernando, CA by way of Zacatecas, Mexico, drops to 14-18-1, 6 KOs.
Suleymanov survives Ramos
Junior featherweight Khabir Suleymanov survived two knockdowns to win by fourth round knockout over Hugo Ramos.
The former amateur star Suleymanov was able to score often in the first round. His right hands scored to the head and body of Ramos. Not be outdone, Ramos was able to score with left hooks to the head.
Ramos scored a knockdown with a right hand to the head of Suleymanov in the second round. However, while Suleymanov was done, Ramos hit him with another right hand, prompting referee Pat Russell to deduct a point from Ramos.
Suleymanov was winning the third round, controlling the tempo when he was knocked down by Ramos again, this time by a left hook. Suleymanov was not hurt and tried to convince Russell that it was a slip.
Sensing he was down, Suleymanov came on in the fourth round. Suleymanov battered Ramos across the ring, while Ramos looked as though he was tired. Ramos also suffered a nasty cut along his right eye that was bleeding profusely. As Ramos kept receiving more punishment and the cut opening up more, Russell stopped the bout after the ringside physician recommended for the bout to not continue.
Ramos’ corner vehemently protested the stoppage. Before the fourth round began, two judges had Ramos up by two points, while the third judge had the bout even. Fightnews.com had the bout scored 28-26 in favor of Ramos entering the fourth round.
Suleymanov, from Los Angeles, goes to 9-0, 4 KO’s. Ramos, from Palm Springs, CA, falls to 2-4-1, 1 KO.
Duenas stops Cardenas
Welterweight Ricky Duenas stopped Jose Cardenas in the third round of a scheduled four-round bout.
The southpaw Duenas came out as the aggressor early in the bout. He was able to beat Cardenas to the punch several time in the first round. Undaunted, Cardenas was able to land counter right hands to the head. Although he looked out of shape, Cardenas would at times out hustle Duenas.
Duenas hurt Cardenas in the third round with a combination to the head. Cardenas backed into a corner, where Duenas let go a barrage of punches to the head. Referee Ray Corona saw enough and stepped in and stopped the bout at 2:09.
Duenas, from El Monte, CA, improves to 4-1, 2 KOs. Cardenas, from Santa Ana, CA, falls to 1-3, 1 KO.
Venegas wins debut
Oscar Venegas won his professional debut when Misael Martinez did not come out for the fourth and final round.
Venegas was the stronger fighter of the two, landing the more effective punches. Martinez did not back down and actually landed hooks to the head and body of Venegas. Venegas asserted himself in the third round, by battering Martinez around the ring, landing hard shots to the head and body. Martinez tried to fight back, but his punches had little effect on Venegas.
Before the fourth round began, ringside physician Pearlman Hicks recommended to referee Pat Russell to stop the bout to avoid Martinez receiving more punishment.
Martinez, from East Los Angeles, drops to 0-5.
- Former world champion Fernando Vargas, contender Jorge Barrios, unbeaten contender Abner Mares, unbeaten Lightweight Luis Ramos, Featherweight prospect Charles Huerta, and former world champion Martin Castillo took in the action from ringside.
- The national anthems of the United States, Mexico, and Colombia were sung before the Vazquez-Priolo bout.
- The bouts were televised on HBO Plus in Mexico and Latin America, while Fox Sports Net en Espanol broadcast the card in the United States.
- Ring announcer was Lupe Contreras.